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Wizards blasted by Utah Jazz in first game of road trip

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Wizards blasted by Utah Jazz in first game of road trip

The Washington Wizards lost to the Utah Jazz 116-69 on Monday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Ugly loss: Coming off a big win over the Pistons on Friday, the Wizards embarked on a five-game road trip with reason to feel good about themselves and how they had fared so far without John Wall. They aren't feeling good anymore.

The Wizards began their road trip on Monday with their most lopsided loss of the season and one of their worst as a franchise, a thorough beatdown at the hands of the Utah Jazz.

Rudy Gobert returned to Utah's lineup after a three-week absence and dominated the middle with 10 rebounds and three blocks. He led the defense while Alec Burks scored 27 points in 27 minutes off the bench to lead their offense. The Wizards, meanwhile, lost control from the opening tip and never built any sort of momentum to make it a competitive game.

The Wizards lost by 47 points, making this their second-worst defeat ever. Only once have they lost by more, 52 points, and that was all the way back in 1971.

The Wizards scored just 15 points in each of the first two quarters to compile 30 points at halftime, their second-lowest output in a half so far this season. They trailed by 34 points, which is the largest halftime deficit for the Wizards since 2002 when the New Jersey Nets led them by 39 on January 16.

You want more terrible numbers? The Wizards' four three-pointers made were their fewest since 2006. Their 28.7 field goal percentage was their fifth-lowest in franchise history. The Jazz out-rebounded them 52-31.

The Wizards fell to 12-11 on the season and have now lost seven of their last 10 games. They are 3-4 without Wall this season and 2-3 since he had two procedures on his left knee. 


Beal was off again: Bradley Beal played his second game with protective eyewear and, just like on Friday, he ditched those glasses midgame. Beal couldn't hit shots from outside or around the basket. There were some layups he missed that were tough shots, but ones he usually gets to go down.

After scoring 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting against the Jazz, Beal is averaging just 12.5 points in his last four games. Whether he is being affected by the eye injury he suffered against the Sixers on Nov. 29 or not, his dip in production is coming at a tough time for the Wizards with Wall already out. He will be needed in their next game on Tuesday night against a very good Blazers backcourt.

Morris and Gortat came up short: So much for what could have been a breakout performance for Markieff Morris. After setting a season-high with 26 points against the Pistons on Friday, Morris laid an egg in this one. He managed 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting, but grabbed just one rebound.

Marcin Gortat was worse. He was held scoreless in 23 minutes for the first time since 2011. He did, however, have seven rebounds and four steals. But in a game the Wizards were dominated so badly on the boards, seven rebounds weren't enough from Gortat.

Mitchell is impressive: The Wizards got their first look at star rookie Donovan Mitchell and he was as-advertised. Mitchell made his first five shots, hitting midrange jumpers and floaters in the lane from all different release angles. He finished with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

Mitchell is known for his dunks and he threw down a huge alley-oop in the first half. Mitchell called for the pass near halfcourt and Ricky Rubio found him with a good setup:


Up next: The Wizards will get an opportunity to bounce back quickly from this one. They head northwest to play at the Portland Trail Blazers. Tipoff is at 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.


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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 3: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 3: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Friday night in Game 3 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:


Series: Raptors lead 2-0
Where: Capital One Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Do or die

If the Wizards lose on Friday night, the series will technically not be over. They will be down 0-3 with a home game up next and an opportunity to extend their season and send it all back to Toronto. That said, the odds would not be good. In fact, they would be pretty much as bad as they can be.

No team in NBA history has ever come back from down 0-3 in a series. So, unless the Wizards feel like they can make history, like UMBC over Virginia history, then they better win Game 3. 

Now, some teams have come close to making it happen. Three times before a team has gone down 0-3 and forced seven games. The last time was the 2003 Blazers, who fell in Game 7 to the Mavs. 

Recovering from an 0-3 deficit to win a seven-game series has happened in both baseball and hockey, most famously in 2004 when the Red Sox beat the Yankees to reach the World Series. At some point it will happen in basketball, but the chances are essentially next-to-none. The Wizards will be much better off by winning Game 3, just like they did last year when they went down 0-2 against the Celtics in the second round and forced a Game 7.

Beal and Otto

The Wizards are hoping to see more from both Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. It was a big topic of discussion at Thursday's practice how both guys need to be more aggressive in looking for their own shot. Beal was held to just nine points in Game 2 and Porter, the NBA's third-best three-point shooter, didn't even attempt one three.

Brooks held a meeting with Beal and John Wall to discuss how they can get Beal more opportunities, but ultimately it's up to him and Porter to force the issue for themselves. It would seem likely at least one of them breaks out in Game 3. They both were great against the Raptors during the regular season and both proved throughout the year that they can score against anybody.

Too many threes

The biggest reason the Wizards are down 0-2 in this series is the three-point shot. The Raptors have hit a ton of them and even though the Wizards have been intent on stopping them, they have had no such luck.

The Raptors hit 16 threes in the first game to set a playoff franchise record. They shot 51.7 percent from long range. In Game 2, they hit 13 and 11 were in the first half. They made seven of them in the first quarter alone to the tune of 44 points, the worst defensive quarter in the playoffs in Wizards franchise history since 1965.

This is how much the three-point shot matters: the Raptors' 11 first-half threes in Game 2 helped them outscore the Wizards by 18 points by halftime, but in the second half when they hit only two threes, the Wizards edged them by seven points. Washington has to stop the three-pointer, it's that simple.

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For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or latest Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Wizards hope meeting between superstar backcourt can jumpstart Bradley Beal's playoff production

Wizards hope meeting between superstar backcourt can jumpstart Bradley Beal's playoff production

With an 0-2 deficit in their first-round playoff series against the Raptors, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks called for a meeting with his two All-Star guards once his team returned to Washington. Brooks met with John Wall and Bradley Beal, hoping to solve an issue that plagued them particularly in Game 2, a blowout loss.

Brooks is intent on getting more out of Beal offensively and since Wall is the quarterback of their offense, it made sense to have him present. After Beal scored nine points and shot just 3-for-11 from the field and 1-for-5 from three, it is clear to Brooks that the Wizards need more to climb back in this series.

"We need to have Brad play well. It's no secret that you need your best players to step up and play well," Brooks said.

Both Brooks and Wall, who each spoke after Thursday's practice, said Beal needs to be more assertive in the offense. Beal averaged 28.8 points against the Raptors through four regular season games and Wall did not play in any of them. In theory, things should be easier for him now with another star player drawing attention.

That has not been the case, however. Beal is averaging 14.0 points through two games while shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three. 

Even if his shot isn't falling, the Wizards want Beal to force the issue.

"I feel like I tell him at times that he needs to be more aggressive. Be more aggressive and look for your shot," Wall said. "He even says it that he has to be more aggressive himself. Even if he's missing or making shots. That's how he's been all season. We need that same type of player, to be aggressive and get at least 20 shots or more per game. That's when our team is probably at our best."

Beal has been limited to 14 shots per game by the Raptors when he averaged 18.1 during the regular season. Wall said he and Beal often talk within games about how Beal would like to be set up and the meeting with Brooks involved some of that dialogue.

While Beal's struggles stand out, the same could be said for Otto Porter, the Wizards' third-leading scorer. Porter was held to 12 points in Game 2 and did not attempt a single three-pointer. For a guy who finished third in the NBA in three-point percentage (44.1), that is difficult to justify.

Like Beal, the Wizards need Porter to impose his will a bit more and according to Brooks, the right lower leg strain he suffered late in the regular season is not to blame.

"He's 100 percent healthy," Brooks said. "It's always been a little bit of a problem. We want Otto to be more aggressive. We gotta run some more plays for him and the defense has done a good job on him. We need him to play well."

Like Beal, Porter had success against Toronto in the regular season. He averaged 18.5 points on 59.2 percent shooting, including a 24-point game on March 2. 

The Wizards need Beal and Porter to step up, knowing the series could hinge on if they do.





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